NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–27 June 2011. The International Criminal Court (ICC) today issued arrest warrants for Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi, one of his sons and the country’s intelligence chief for crimes against humanity allegedly committed since the pro-democracy movement began in February.
Hundreds of people are confirmed to have been killed since opposition forces rose up against the regime of Mr. Qadhafi in February as part of a wider pro-democracy movement across North Africa and the Middle East.
Earlier this month, the Court’s Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, told reporters that his office had gathered direct evidence detailing the orders issued by Mr. Qadhafi, the role of his son Saif al-Islam Qadhafi in recruiting mercenaries, and the participation of the head of the Libya’s intelligence forces, Abdullah Al Sanousi, in attacks against protesters.
The Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber considered that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that the three suspects committed the alleged crimes and that their arrests appear necessary to ensure their appearances before the ICC, it stated in a news release.
Their arrests are also necessary to ensure that they do not continue to obstruct and endanger the Court’s investigations, and to prevent them from using their powers to continue the commission of crimes within the its jurisdiction, the Court added.
Libya is not a State party to the Rome Statute that established the ICC. However, the situation in the North African nation was referred to the Court in February by the Security Council, which adopted a resolution the following month calling on Member States to take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians amid the regime’s violent crackdown against its own people.
Libya is one of six investigations being carried out by the ICC, which is based in The Hague. The others are the Central African Republic (CAR), Darfur, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda and Kenya.